Texas taxpayers deserve answers about cancer fund practices
The $3 billion state agency dedicated to fighting cancer "was a brilliant idea" for which Texas lawmakers and taxpayers should be commended, a Harvard Medical School professor previously affiliated with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas wrote in October.
But now it's an idea whose brilliance has been tarnished by flawed execution that could be something worse.
In October, more than 30 medical specialists, including two Nobel Prize winners, resigned from their positions reviewing projects seeking grants from the 5-year-old agency. The reviewers complained that some grants were being awarded not because they met high peer-review standards for good science but because they claimed to have commercial promise or were pushed by politically connected individuals.
In late November, it was revealed that CPRIT approved $11 million over three years for Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics without its proposal going through the legally required review.